The BJP-led government in India has extended full support to Bangladesh’s Awami League-led government, the party’s visiting General Secretary Ram Madhab says.
“We are fully with you in the process to uphold the democratic institutions in Bangladesh,” he said at the inaugural programme of the seventh round of Bangladesh-India Friendship Dialogue in Dhaka yesterday.
Bangladesh, with its big population, is doing wonderfully well in keeping up its democratic traditions under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said.
“The way madam prime minister is handling the situation, trying hard to protect the democratic institutions of this country is quite laudable. We extend our wholehearted support to her endeavour to uphold the democracy in the country,” he said.
The BJP leader said the constitution needed to be upheld as it extended freedom. “Our freedom is within the framework of the constitution. It does not give us the licence to say that we would destroy the constitutional system, we will destroy the democracy. It does not give us permission to burn buses, burn public property, engage in violence.”
In his speech, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali identified water as a “very sensitive and important issue” in Bangladesh-India relations.
“While some issues remain to be resolved in this sector, we are hopeful that in the spirit of good neighbourliness, those would be resolved soon,” he said.
Bangladesh sought India’s participation in the proposed Ganges Barrage project on Padma River, he added.
“We have also agreed to share the best practices for a basin-wide management of common rivers which is expected to pave the way for full-fledged basin-wide management,” the minister said, adding that the approach held the key to comprehensively address water related issues in the region.
In the two-day programme, Prime Minister’s International Affairs Adviser Gowher Rizvi, Energy Adviser Toufiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam would participate from Bangladesh side while Indian lawmaker MJ Akbar, former Indian high commissioner to Dhaka Veena Sikri, India Foundation Director Alok Bansal, among others, would take part.